Boy, 16, admits role in Sultan slaying of teen

EVERETT — A 16-year-old gang member admitted to taking part in the vicious beating and stabbing death of another teenager in downtown Sultan.

Jaime Santana, shackled and barely old enough to drive, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder.

Santana admitted that he was part of a group of five Sultan friends accused of attacking Antonio Marks, of Marysville, in June.

Santana likely will spend the rest of his teenage years and most of his 20s locked behind prison bars.

Marks, 17, was found lying in a pool of blood June 17 a few feet from Sultan’s City Hall.

A video surveillance camera caught the slaying on tape. The tape shows Marks being kicked repeatedly in the head and then stabbed several times in the chest.

Marks was kicked so hard investigators found several different shoe tread patterns on his head.

Marks died of a head injury and stab wounds.

The other suspects charged with second-degree murder are: Marco Castillo, 20; his brother, Adolfo Castillo, 17; Ana Cary Ayala Bustos, 16; and Ivette Rico, 18, all of Sultan.

All were teens at the time of the attack and were charged as adults.

Investigators believe all of the defendants are members of a Sultan-based gang called Brown Pride Soldiers, or BPS, court papers said. Marks also was believed to be a member of a rival gang and dating the sister of the Castillo brothers.

A hearing is scheduled next week to decide whether prosecutors will be able to use evidence gathered against the Castillo brothers. Marco Castillo is accused of throwing the first punch and repeatedly stabbing Marks.

Investigators say the attack came hours after Marks came to the Castillos’ house on Cedar Street in Sultan and got into some sort of dispute with Marco Castillo. Marks left, but the teens later ran into each other on the street.

Marco Castillo knocked Marks to the ground, prosecutors say.

The video shows an older teen standing over Marks and punching him several times.

Marks didn’t fight back, falling flat on his back after the first blow.

The attacker then backs away and the other four teenagers are seen kicking Marks in the head, prosecutors allege.

The video then shows the first teen stab Marks several times in the chest while the other teens continued to kick the motionless Marks in the head, court papers said.

The attack lasted 43 seconds.

Marco Castillo allegedly told investigators he didn’t intend to kill Marks but wanted to hurt him enough so that he couldn’t retaliate.

Santana was the last person seen with Marks. He grabbed Marks’ cell phone and then kicked him in the head, prosecutors said.

“We feel it’s in his best interest to accept this offer,” Everett defense attorney Thomas Cox said Tuesday during the plea hearing.

Santana faces up to 18 years in prison. Prosecutors will recommend a 10-year sentence. Santana agreed to testify as a prosecution witness.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in January. He likely will be imprisoned at a juvenile detention facility until he is 18 and then he’ll be transferred to an adult prison.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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